A Bit of Christmas Cheers & Jeers - TribPapers

A Bit of Christmas Cheers & Jeers

Photo by Markus Winkler


Christian teachers go to war against transgender pronouns.

While the legal battles surrounding First Amendment claims by a number of creative professionals have garnered attention, similar battles are being waged across the county by Christian teachers who are opposing “woke” policies regarding gender identity. Across the country, many school districts are adopting policies that require teachers to use preferred pronouns. The suspension of Tanner Cross, an elementary school physical education teacher, for opposing such a policy in Loudoun County, Virginia became national news. Cross’ case reached the Virginia Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor. Though the courts eventually found that Cross had been a victim of retaliation in his original complaint, the Loudoun County School Board enacted their controversial policy anyhow on Aug. 11. This prompted two other teachers, Monica Gill and Kimberly Wright, to join the case via an amended complaint filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on Aug, 16.

“This case is about far more than pronouns. It raises the question of whether public schools can punish a teacher for objecting, as a private citizen during the public comment portion of a board meeting, to a proposed policy that would force him to express ideas about human nature, unrelated to the school’s curriculum, that he believes are false,” the amended complaint said. “Additionally, it is about whether the government may force Plaintiffs to express ideas about human nature, unrelated to the school’s curriculum, that they believe are false and are the subject of ongoing scientific debate.”

Christmas can never be canceled

 As political strife intensifies and people are increasingly canceled for their opinions, the reality of Christmas should ground us in deeper truths.

In our hyper-politicized culture and angst today, Christmas is often diminished. One of the goals within our cultural wars is to push Christmas aside, to make even more room for divisive politicized agendas that tear us apart.

Religion, and particularly Christianity, reminds people that there are spheres much higher and important than politics and government. Ideologues detest and rage against this truth. They want the focus to remain solely on the worldly realms so that they can usher in their perceived political kingdom – better known today as tyrannies. Simply put, they want individuals worshiping a disordered world over the Lord.

Yet, whether the ideologues realize it or not, Christmas will never be canceled. Even if people stopped celebrating Christmas and the birth of the Lord, Scripture proclaims that “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40) Why? Ultimately, everything is under the purposes of God, and creation speaks to this truth whether we acknowledge it or not.

Unfortunately, confusion and false teaching have infected many Christian churches today. A few years ago, a study revealed that 78% of Evangelical Christians believe that Jesus was the first created being of God. Of course, this is the third-century Arian heresy, which denies the eternal nature of Christ.

While Christmas can never be canceled, it’s essential that we understand what it means. The Incarnation and preexistence of our Lord is everything.

There is a great quote that highlights the beauty of the Christmas season and our carols.

“It is extraordinary to notice how completely this feeling of the paradox of the manger was lost by the brilliant and ingenious theologians, and how completely it was kept in the Christmas carols,” declared the English writer G.K. Chesterton. “They, at least, never forgot that the main business of the story they had to tell was that the absolute once ruled the universe from a cattle stall.”

How astounding is the Incarnation? The Protestant Reformer Martin Luther noted that the angels are envious of humans because Christmas means we share the same flesh and blood with Jesus. There will never be a time, ever again, where Jesus is not fully human. Amazingly, this means humanity is now united to the Godhead…forever.

Emmanuel or “God with Us,” is truly the greatest story ever told.

Another great line comes from “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” It goes, “‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store.’ Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more.’”

While grinches or even politicized automatons can’t cancel Christmas, they do want to rob you of your joy and keep you from looking up to the higher truths. Christmas is a great reminder that their efforts are ultimately futile. Merry Christmas!

N.C. ranks No. 11 in latest Tax Foundation report on business tax climate

 North Carolina ranks just outside of the top 10 states, at No. 11, in the latest Tax Foundation State Business Tax Climate Index.

The newly released ranking arrives just two weeks after the Tax Foundation touted reforms embedded in North Carolina’s new state budget. If those reforms had taken effect immediately, North Carolina’s rank could have jumped as high as No. 5.

Wyoming tops the newly released State Business Tax Climate list for 2022. South Dakota, Alaska, Florida, and Montana round out the top five. At the opposite end, New Jersey ranks dead last (No. 50), with New York, California, Connecticut, and Maryland listed as the other cellar-dwellers.

Among our neighbors, only Tennessee tops North Carolina at No. 8. Virginia (N0. 25), South Carolina (No. 31), and Georgia (No. 32) all trail the Tar Heel State.

“The absence of a major tax is a common factor among many of the top 10 states,” the Tax Foundation explains. “Property taxes and unemployment insurance taxes are levied in every state, but there are several states that do without one or more of the major taxes: the corporate income tax, the individual income tax, or the sales tax.”

North Carolina’s new state budget begins the process of phasing out the corporate income tax.

In the subcategories that contribute to the overall ranking, North Carolina already does best on corporate taxes, ranking No. 4. The Tar Heel State ranks No. 12 in unemployment insurance taxes and No. 13 in property taxes. North Carolina ranks No. 16 in individual income taxes and No. 20 in sales taxes.

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